Swing and a Miss

Do you think Babe Ruth was afraid he would strike out when he went to the plate? Nosiree. Back in his era, it was considered disgraceful to strike out, yet he struck out 1,330 times. His career averages were as follows. He had at 8,319 at bats, 2,873 hits which include 714 home runs and had a career RBI (runs batted in) of 2,214. His batting average over his 22-year career was 342 which means he struck out two out of every three times he went to the plate.

James Patterson is the most prolific fiction writer of all time, but his first book was turned down 31 times before he found a publisher that agreed to take him on. He has since written over 200 novels and holds the Guinness World Record for 67 #1 New York Times Best sellers.

Thomas Edison was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” He made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb before his 1,001 try. Alexander Graham Bell failed many times for six years from 1871-1876 to invent the phone, but finally in 1876 he made the first phone call. Before his death he held 18 patents that still stand today.

The founder of Holiday Inns (Kemmons Wilson) was a friend of mine before he passed away. I have handled most all the Wilson Family hotel business for over 28 years. Before his death, he had invested in or started over 100+ companies and most of them failed. He kept swinging and hit on five to ten companies that made it big and still exist in a large way today.

Why am I telling you this? Many people will take one swing at their dream and if they miss, they quit and walk away. Thomas Edison was once asked how he felt about failing 1,000 times and his reply was classic. “I didn’t fail 1,000 times, I just discovered 1,000 different ways that wouldn’t work.”

If you keep swinging, the laws of average say you will eventually hit something.  You don’t have to hit success with every swing because if that was the case, there would never be any failures. The advice, keep swinging with all your heart and never forget why you are swinging. KT

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